The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has issued its highest ever financial penalty of almost S$27 million against 13 fresh chicken distributors (Chicken Distributors). The CCCS’ investigations against the Chicken Distributors began in 2014 following information received from a secret complainant. The CCCS subsequently found that the Chicken Distributors had engaged in anti-competitive agreements to coordinate the amount and timing of price increases and agreeing not to compete for each other’s customers in the market for the supply of fresh chicken products in Singapore.
CCCS’ record penalty highlights its growing enforcement prowess against cartel conduct particularly those involving parties with huge market shares and whose conduct were serious and protracted. The CCCS’ latest decision against the Chicken Distributors comes in the wake of its proposed infringement decision against certain hotels for sharing confidential information issued in August 2018 and highlights its growing enforcement oversight and scrutiny of the various markets in Singapore. The trend of ever increasing financial penalties imposed by the CCCS (as evident from the penalties imposed against the Chicken Distributors) is likely to continue and will likely be superseded in other investigations involving huge markets and/or market players.
Importantly, businesses should pay heed to the increasing effectiveness of the CCCS’ whistle blowing / reward scheme (which had triggered this investigation) and the availability of the CCCS’ leniency programme (which can give rise to total immunity from financial penalties). The CCCS’ decision against the Chicken Distributors highlights the immense risks and costs of engaging in any anti-competitive behaviour in Singapore and the growing clarion call for competition law compliance and education amongst employees and management alike.
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.